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iO Pages (NL), December 2009

Dutch band Chinawhite exists for over 20 years. Key members are Rolf Vossen (keyboards), Hans in ‘t Zandt (drums) and especially Peter Cox (guitars/vocals) who plays a big part in the compositions. The 11 songs equal over an hour of music and the songs vary in length from almost 4 to over 8 minutes. About 10 years ago, the first full length album was released, and before that only demo’s and an EP. After a beautiful symphonic and orchestral overture the true face of the band becomes "visible". Melodic hard rock seems the starting point of this band. The band proclaims this album will be liked by fans of Rush, Saga, Dream Theater, Threshold, Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. I can only agree to the last 2 of them. And then mainly the latter (during their sting with Pete Goalby, early 80’s), due to the regular use of a screaming Hammond, though the compositions and vocals bare similarities as well. The production could have been better, because the vocals of singer Don Feltges are unclear and often low in the mix, while the riffing and rhythm guitars are too loud for my taste. The twists and sometimes heavy orchestrations however leave no doubt about the progressive and symphonic interests of the band. Not strange considering knowing that Chinawhite used to cover Camel, Marillion and Kansas. Especially the orchestral parts and the subtle piano parts are very nice. A wink to Kansas is found in the tracks Inside and Wings Of The Wind. Ideas enough, but writing a catchy song without bearing too much resemblance proves difficult. The singing is more hard rock oriented than symphonic thus leans more towards forcing than clear and melodic. An external producer might have been able to lift more out of this enthusiastic group. What rests is a praiseworthy and courageous attempt, but I am afraid the main public won’t warm up to this release. (Menno von Brucken Fock )

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